The presence of ethanol/biofuel additives to pump gas percentage of bioethanol in fuelhas been a hotly debated topic in recent months – particularly so for the petroleum giant BP, which is facing down fines in excess of $500 million for having failed to meet its EU sale quota for E10 gasoline.
E10, of course, is a blend of gasoline that includes approx. 10% bio-ethanol in the mix, which we in the US have been driving on for several years. BP, being a company that exists (essentially) to drill for oil, has a vested interest in making sure biofuels don’t “go big”, so it should come as no surprise that the company didn’t push to meet its E10 goals. What was surprising to me, however, is that BP has (pretty openly!) come forward and simply said that they don’t want to bear the cost of the fines leveled against them, and will shift the payment of its fines directly onto its customers at the pump!
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, if BP didn’t let a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico dent their profits, it isn’t really out of character to expect that they’d maintain that attitude by letting their customers pay their fines for them.
No word yet on how much BP will “mark up” their fine collections – but expect an additional 5-10% over and above what’s “necessary”. (at least! – Ed.